Triadic-line poetry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Triadic-line poetry or stepped line, in effect a long line split into three and indented, was created by William Carlos Williams and taken up later by poets Charles Tomlinson and Thom Gunn,.[1]


Williams referred to the prosody[disambiguation needed] of Triadic-line poetry as a 'variable foot', a metrical device to resolve the conflict between form and freedom in verse.[2] Each of the three staggered lines of the stanza should be thought of as one foot, the whole stanza becoming a trimeter line.[3] Williams' collections Journey to Love (1955) and The Desert Music (1954) [4] contained examples of this form. This is an extract from "The Sparrow" by Williams

Practical to the end,

it is the poem
of his existence


  1. ^ Schmidt, Michael, Lives of the Poets, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London 1998 ISBN 978-0753807453
  2. ^ "Interview with Stanley Koehler", Paris Review Vol 6 April 1962
  3. ^ Hartman, Charles, Free Verse an essay on Prosody, Northwestern University Press, Evanston 1996 ISBN 0-8101-1316-3
  4. ^ Collected Poems ed. Christopher MacGowan, Collected Poems Vol II, Carcanet Press, Manchester, 2000 ISBN 1-85754-523-0

External links[edit]